• Got Bread?
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Japanese Maple
    Japanese Maple
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Skywing
    Skywing
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Canadian Fall
    Canadian Fall
  • Amethyst Sky
    Amethyst Sky
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Yearly archives: 2014

“Little Things” for the Corporation UI

"Little Things" for the Corporation UI
A CEO's nightmare.

A CEO’s nightmare.

The other day CCP Punkturis asked the playerbase to describe its “biggest pain points in the corp interface”. Wow, what a can of worms! Naturally, roles and titles are at the top of everyone’s list, including mine, and rightly so. It is by far the biggest pain point any CEO has to deal with in EVE Online. But then, forty-five posts into the thread, CCP Punkturis and CCP Sharq both backtracked to say, well, no, they weren’t really looking for the “biggest” pain points, they actually just want little things—the low-lying fruit—that might be easy to fix to help CEOs out.

If you’re a CEO, or have ever been a CEO at any time (even if for just five seconds!), do yourself and all CEOs everywhere a favor and post in that thread. Post even if everything you want to say about how godawful the corporation interface is has already been said by everyone else before you. Reiteration and repetition of these same pain points by multiple voices will help drive home their importance to the devs. It’s worth it.

And yes, mention roles and titles anyway. Pay no attention to the devs’ insistence that they aren’t looking at roles and titles right now. Do eeet anyway.

I already posted my thoughts in the thread, starting here. It took my entire evening and three forum posts to cover everything I wanted to say but it was definitely time well spent if it makes a difference for the future. :) Here it is, for posterity’s sake:


Now for the Hard Part

Now for the Hard Part

I’ve finished reposting content to the site and feel pretty good about the state everything is in now. Hallelujah!

Using Joomla to manage the backend is something I kind of wish I had discovered years back, as I realize now how much time it would have saved me. After all, this website has been around in various forms and at various URLs since 1999. Anybody remember GeoCities? I started out in the coveted Area51 block. Yeah. Fifteen years of literally spending days coding in Notepad and Notepad++, learning HTML, CSS, PHP, and a bit of JavaScript from scratch and by examining the source code of other websites, and then being forced to go back and redo whenever the standards changed, things were depreciated, etc.


Sphere Attack

Sphere Attack

This tutorial will teach you one method for creating a fabulous-looking sphere of energy that can be used to simulate a magical attack in your artwork. It was created using Photoshop CS2 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

In order to complete this tutorial, first you need to follow the Lighting and Colored Energy tutorial to at least step 3 (step 4 if you want color in your sphere). Although following the tutorials exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results!

Let’s begin!


Space Art

Space Art

I LOVE space art. I’ve done a few pics which feature space as backgrounds or as the primary subject. It’s a great way to express your creativity because there is still so much we don’t know about space. Artists aren’t limited by “reality”—who’s to say what really is and isn’t possible out there? The void can be as beautiful or as harrowing—or both—as your imagination desires.

Space art takes quite a bit of effort and patience to make it look good and believable. I’ve spent upwards of six hours working on a single image. The artists I admire can spend double or more than that. There’s a lot of intuition involved, especially regarding color usage, shapes, etc. From what I’ve experienced so far, it takes a lot of practice. The results are oh so rewarding though!

I’m just learning and still experimenting with space art myself, so at this time I don’t feel I should be offering a tutorial of my own making. There are a number of fabulous tutorials out there that I have used (or are planning on using) to help me break into this art form, and my purpose here is to share them with you so that you can try them out and start making your own art.

I do not take credit for any of the tutorials linked below. Please respect the authors’ wishes if their tutorials list restrictions and give credit where credit is due. :) And have fun!

Exploding Planet
Planet Rings
Sun Tutorial

I also recommend the LunarCell, SolarCell, and Glitterato Photoshop plug-ins from Flaming Pear, though these plugins could be considered “cheating” and it’s usually much better to learn how to create the same effects manually. :)


Lightning and Colored Energy

Lightning and Colored Energy

To add realistic-looking lightning or a great magical effect to your artwork, follow this tutorial! The tutorial was created using Photoshop 7.0 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

Although following the tutorial exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results!

Let’s begin!


Digital Inking

Digital Inking

The Freeform Pen tool is a fabulous alternative for artists who are not fond of inking their sketches. Some reasons you might not want to ink the sketch are:

  • not wanting to ruin the sketch if a mistake is made;
  • the pic is on lined or otherwise unsuitable paper for the finished product;
  • you don’t own a light table;
  • you are going to CG the picture instead of coloring it with traditional media.

Using the Freeform Pen tool to outline (digitally ink) the sketch allows you to create lineart that is perfect for CGing on the first try. The lineart will already be on its own layer and it will be 100% clean—no smudges or other souveniers from the sketch will remain to hamper coloring efforts!

The Freeform Pen tool can be a bit intimidating and frustrating if you’ve never used it before, so this tutorial is designed to help you become familiar with it. It does take a bit of practice and patience to get the hang of it, so don’t give up if you don’t get it right away!

This tutorial was created using Photoshop CS2 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

Although following the tutorial exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results! There are also many effects you can incorporate to the lineart while you are creating it, such as setting pressure sensitivity if you have a tablet or using different brush types for different styles of lines. For this tutorial I won’t be showing those advanced techniques. Experiment on your own after you’ve learned the basics. :)

Let’s begin!